Today, when I got off the train to go home from work, I decided to stop by the grocery store near my house to pick up some English muffins to sustain my diet for a few weeks. I stepped inside, got myself a basket and made my way to the bread aisle. Just as I was deciding which delicious variety of English muffin I wanted to devour (I had my eye on Hawaiian, which doesn’t really make sense as an English muffin), an acquaintance I had only met once before in my life got my attention and started to make conversation. Luckily she reminded me of her name and where we met, and she proceeded to ask for my number so we could hang out later, and what part of the neighborhood did I live in, and do I still talk to that mutual friend I happened to be texting at that exact moment. As the conversation was gradually drawing to a close, I was reminded of this particular Hyperbole and a Half post called “The Four Levels of Social Entrapment,” and quickly realized that one of those scenarios, the one where you are trapped in a grocery store with someone you vaguely know and you continually run into them and have to make small awkward conversation over and over until you just remain silent or one of you finally leaves, was about to happen to ME. This grocery store was tiny, and we both had nothing in our baskets at the time. Horrified, the moment the acquaintance turned her back on me I threw the shopping basket away and scurried out the front door and speed-walked home, vowing never to return… for at least 2 hours when she would probably be gone and it would be safe again for me to buy my muffins.

Today, when I got off the train to go home from work, I decided to stop by the grocery store near my house to pick up some English muffins to sustain my diet for a few weeks. I stepped inside, got myself a basket and made my way to the bread aisle. Just as I was deciding which delicious variety of English muffin I wanted to devour (I had my eye on Hawaiian, which doesn’t really make sense as an English muffin), an acquaintance I had only met once before in my life got my attention and started to make conversation. Luckily she reminded me of her name and where we met, and she proceeded to ask for my number so we could hang out later, and what part of the neighborhood did I live in, and do I still talk to that mutual friend I happened to be texting at that exact moment. As the conversation was gradually drawing to a close, I was reminded of this particular Hyperbole and a Half post called “The Four Levels of Social Entrapment,” and quickly realized that one of those scenarios, the one where you are trapped in a grocery store with someone you vaguely know and you continually run into them and have to make small awkward conversation over and over until you just remain silent or one of you finally leaves, was about to happen to ME. This grocery store was tiny, and we both had nothing in our baskets at the time. Horrified, the moment the acquaintance turned her back on me I threw the shopping basket away and scurried out the front door and speed-walked home, vowing never to return… for at least 2 hours when she would probably be gone and it would be safe again for me to buy my muffins.